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Formula 3 - La Grande Casa CD (album) cover


Formula 3


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.04 | 54 ratings

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3 stars Great album for wine at the summer house.

La Grande Casa is the underappreciated little brother of the previous Formula 3 album that gets all of the accolades. But this little kid is charming and should not be written off by those who appreciate early 70s acoustic rock albums. It is not typical of other Italian Symphonic genre releases in that it has an almost folksy hippie rock feel courtesy of generous acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies. The music has an intimate, romantic, communal vibe that occasionally reminds me of the Californian rock of the period though it doesn't give up its own identity either.

"Rapsodia de Radius" begins with acoustic guitar before keys and electric join in. The short 30 minute length of the album plays out like one extended piece with different sections: fairly mellow acoustic moments, quiet vocals, then up tempo and slightly more rocking moments with nice lead guitar. In this way there is some resemblance to the early PFM albums. Apart from the quiet vocals there are moments where we get sort of a group sing-along which helps impart the communal feel this album has. We even get some nice sound effects of our characters arriving at the big house at the start of the title track. At 3 minutes is a lovely near-spoken word vocal to piano before things pick up for a rocking ending. The album closes with "Bambina Sbagliata" which has a very sentimental flavor to the lead vocals and longing acoustic guitars. The ending is left to the bass player who riffs a little over keys and mid tempo drumming; not a very memorable ending for this album but it's a minor complaint.

The photograph of the "big house" that graces the inside of the gatefold cover is absolutely stunning and would be perfect at full size hanging in your living room. It shows the big house in the country on a summer day behind a sweep of yellow wildflowers. If you're a collector of great album art you will need the mini-LP cd Japanese gatefold reissue for your collection. While not essential this title should please Italian rock lovers and 70s acoustic rock fans.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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